As beautiful as the island of Ireland is, it’s also known for its unpredictable weather. And with just over seven-and-a-half hours of daylight on the shortest day of the year, winters in the country can be tough. If you’re already lamenting the loss of the sunshine – or you’re at the other extreme and dreaming of a white Christmas – one of these quick winter breaks from Dublin could be just what you need.
Flight time: 4 hours
Enjoying up to 200 hours of sunshine and temperatures in the 20s while everyone else is bundled in their winter warmers, the Spanish archipelago of the Canary Islands off the north-west African coast is officially the warmest place in Europe during the winter months. That does mean many sun-seekers migrate in this direction, but places like Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Fuerteventura will still be significantly less crowded than they are in summer. The lesser-known islands like La Palma are even more peaceful.
Flight time: 3 hours, 38 minutes
Having achieved independence from its most recent rulers – the United Kingdom – in 1964, the tiny archipelago of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea is densely populated with UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the 316 square-kilometre country has three of them. Average winter temperatures are around 14 degrees – so not sunbathing weather, but definitely mild enough to get out and enjoy the many historical and architectural attractions that Malta has to offer. The entire capital city of Valletta is a World Heritage Site, brimming with buildings dating back as far as the 16th century onwards. The seven Megalithic Temples of Malta are among the oldest free-standing structures in the world.
Flight time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
If you’re seeking more wintery conditions, rather than less, head east to Prague. This option may not be for the faint-hearted – the average high here is two degrees Celsius – but once you have your warmest winter gear on, you’ll find Prague to be festive, beautiful and charming. A unique place to do your Christmas shopping, enjoy some of Europe’s best old-style Christmas markets in the city, which take place daily from November 26th to January 1st in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square.
Flight time: 6 hours, 52 minutes
The Irish have an understandably strong connection to the city of New York, having seen vast numbers of the population emigrate there from the Great Famine onwards. But New York in winter is appealing to most people, whether you’re dreaming about seeing the giant tree at Rockefeller Center and skating in Central Park, or making the most of the post-Christmas sales on Fifth Avenue. There are multiple direct flights to New York from Dublin daily, meaning you can easily have breakfast in Ireland and an early dinner in Midtown.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
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